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Basic Nautical and Sailing Terms for the Beginner

The summer has accorded you some new and fun experiences with boating or sailing and you’re thinking that this adventure could be a keeper. Discover Boating shares 10 nautical and sailing terms that every ‘sailor’ should know whether you own your own boat or just go with being an occasional pleasure boat rider:

1. Aft – Also, known as the stern – this is the back of a boat.

2. Bow – The bow is the front of the ship.

3. Port – When you are facing the bow (front of the ship), the left-hand side of the boat is called the port.

4. Starboard – When you are facing the bow (front of the ship),the right-hand side of the boat is called the starboard.

5. Windward – The direction in which the wind is currently blowing.  Sailboats tend to move with the wind, making the windward direction an important sailing term to know.

6. Leeward – Also known as lee, leeward is the opposite of windward.

7. Boom – The boom is the horizontal pole which extends from the bottom of the mast. Adjusting the boom towards the direction of the wind is how the sailboat is able to harness wind power in order to move forward or backwards.

8. Rudder – Located beneath the boat, the rudder is a flat piece of wood, fiberglass, or metal that is used to steer the ship. Larger sailboats control the rudder via a wheel, while smaller sailboats will have a steering mechanism directly aft.

9. Jibing – The opposite of tacking, this basic sailing maneuver refers to turning the stern of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side. The boom of a boat will always shift from one side to the other when performing a tack or a jibe. Jibing is a less common technique than tacking, since it involves turning a boat directly into the wind.

10. Tacking – The opposite of jibing, this basic sailing maneuver refers to turning the bow of the boat through the wind so that the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other side. The boom of a boat will always shift from one side to the other when performing a tack or a jibe.

Now that you are familiar with some basic terms, the next time you go out on the seas, you will sound like an experienced seafarer.

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For full article:  Sailing Basics: 10 Nautical & Sailing Terms To Know

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Image Credit:  Deposit Photos

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